At home in Barbados, guys used to make a sort of catcall (Seets) and say, "My friend..." and start their pick up lines from there. I always wondered if a single girl ever fell for a guy seetsing.
The comment got me thinking about pickup lines and how they vary from culture to culture.
When I was in my early 20s, I taught English in Venezuela. Most students were roughly the same age I was, and teachers were encouraged to make the lessons relevant to normal American life. Song lyrics, curse words, and popular slang were all fair game.
So were pickup lines.
I can’t remember how I got the idea for the lesson, but I do remember explaining the term “cheesy” and making sure the students understood that most pickup lines aren’t particularly effective. It turned into an excellent cultural exchange, with everyone trying to outdo each other using terrible pickup lines in multiple languages.
“Here’s a good one,” I explained to the class. “And by ‘good’ I mean ‘don’t say this unless you want to be slapped.’”
I had their attention.
“You can approach a woman in a bar and say, ‘Wow, that blouse is very becoming on you.’ Then you pause for effect and smile. ‘If I were on you, I’d be coming, too.’”
There was a long silence during which I realized I was going to have to add a new term to my students’ vocabulary.
But they were game, and the rest of the lesson went swimmingly.
I soon forgot about it, and that round of students went on to pass their exams and move on to other teachers who probably employed more appropriate methods of instruction. A few months later, I ran into one of my former students in the library.
“Hey, Julio!” I called. “I hear you’re doing great in level eight.”
“Yes, teacher. Thank you very much.”
“I like your new haircut. It looks very nice.”
“Thank you teacher,” he said, blushing a little. “That dress is very becoming on you.”
I beamed, completely oblivious. “Thank you, Julio.”
“Teacher, if I were on you—”
I didn’t give him the chance to finish, though I did offer him a solid pat on the back for his good memory. To this day, I live in fear of Julio roaming the Venezuelan countryside using that line on unsuspecting women in bars.
What’s the worst pickup line you’ve ever heard? On the flip side, can you think of a good one that might actually work? Please share!
Oh, and by the way – that shirt looks great on you.
It would look better on my bedroom floor.